New European Commentary

 

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Deeper Commentary

 

Exo 39:1 Of the blue, purple, and scarlet, they made finely worked garments, for ministering in the holy place, and made the holy garments for Aaron; as Yahweh commanded Moses.

Exo 39:2 He made the ephod of gold, blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen.
Exo 39:3 They beat the gold into thin plates, and cut it into wires, to work it in the blue, in the purple, in the scarlet, and in the fine linen, the work of the skilful workman.
Exo 39:4 They made shoulder straps for it, joined together. At the two ends it was joined together.
Exo 39:5 The skilfully woven band that was on it, with which to fasten it on, was of the same piece, like its work; of gold, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen; as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Exo 39:6 They worked the onyx stones, enclosed in settings of gold, engraved with the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the children of Israel.
Exo 39:7 He put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod, to be stones of memorial for the children of Israel, as Yahweh commanded Moses-

The idea wasn’t that God might forget His people and so He needed to be reminded by the Priest wearing these stones with their names on; rather they were a reminder to Israel that they were each personally remembered by God all the time.

 


Exo 39:8 He made the breastplate, the work of a skilful workman, like the work of the ephod; of gold, of blue, purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen.
Exo 39:9 It was square. They made the breastplate double. Its length was a span, and its breadth a span, being double-

A span was about 22 cm. or 9 inches. The breastplate was quite small, compared to the grandiose religious clothing of other religions.


Exo 39:10 They set in it four rows of stones: a row of ruby, topaz, and beryl was the first row;
Exo 39:11 and the second row, a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald;
Exo 39:12 and the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;
Exo 39:13 and the fourth row, a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper. They were enclosed in gold settings.
Exo 39:14 The stones were according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names; like the engravings of a signet, everyone according to his name, for the twelve tribes.
Exo 39:15 They made on the breastplate chains like cords, of braided work of pure gold.
Exo 39:16 They made two settings of gold, and two gold rings, and put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate.
Exo 39:17 They put the two braided chains of gold in the two rings at the ends of the breastplate.
Exo 39:18 The other two ends of the two braided chains they put on the two settings, and put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod, in its front.
Exo 39:19 They made two rings of gold, and put them on the two ends of the breastplate, on its edge, which was toward the side of the ephod inward.
Exo 39:20 They made two rings of gold, and put them on the two shoulder straps of the ephod underneath, in its front, close by its coupling, above the skilfully woven band of the ephod.
Exo 39:21 They bound the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it might be on the skilfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastplate might not come loose from the ephod, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Exo 39:22 He made the robe of the ephod of woven work, all of blue.
Exo 39:23 The opening of the robe in its midst was like the opening of a coat of mail, with a binding around its opening, that it should not be torn-
 
The Lord having His own clothes put back on Him meant that He would have been dressed in blood sprinkled garments for the walk to Golgotha. Again His holy mind would have been on the Messianic prophecies of Is. 63:3 about a Messiah with blood sprinkled garments lifted up in glorious victory. Or perhaps He saw the connection to Lev. 8:30, where the priests had to have blood sprinkled garments in order to begin their priestly work. This would have sent His mind to us, for whom He was interceding. Likewise when He perceived that His garment would not be rent, He would have joyfully perceived that He was indeed as the High Priest whose garment was not to be rent (Ex. 39:23).

Christ died as the supreme High Priest, and the soldiers decided not to rend His garment but instead to throw dice to see which of them should get it (Jn. 19:24). As He hung on the cross, looking down and noticing what they were doing, He would have remembered this teaching about the High Priest’s garment, and taken encouragement that He was indeed doing the High Priestly work to its ultimate term. His blood stained, dirty outer garment- perhaps woven by his social outcast of a mother- was equivalent of the High Priest’s robe of “glory and beauty” (Ex. 28:2).


Exo 39:24 They made on the skirts of the robe pomegranates of blue, purple, scarlet, and twined linen.
Exo 39:25 They made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates around the skirts of the robe, between the pomegranates;
Exo 39:26 a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate, around the skirts of the robe, to minister in, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Exo 39:27 They made the coats of fine linen of woven work for Aaron, and for his sons,
Exo 39:28 and the turban of fine linen, and the linen headbands of fine linen, and the linen breeches of fine twined linen,
Exo 39:29 and the sash of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, the work of the embroiderer, as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Exo 39:30 They made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it a writing, like the engravings of a signet: HOLY TO YAHWEH.
Exo 39:31 They tied to it a lace of blue, to fasten it on the turban above, as Yahweh commanded Moses.

Exo 39:32 Thus all the work of the tabernacle of the Tent of Meeting was finished. The children of Israel did according to all that Yahweh commanded Moses; so they did.
Exo 39:33 They brought the tabernacle to Moses, the tent, with all its furniture, its clasps, its boards, its bars, its pillars, its sockets,
Exo 39:34 the covering of rams’ skins dyed red, the covering of sea cow hides, the veil of the screen,
Exo 39:35 the ark of the testimony with its poles, the mercy seat,
Exo 39:36 the table, all its vessels, the show bread,
Exo 39:37 the pure lampstand, its lamps, even the lamps to be set in order, all its vessels, the oil for the light,
Exo 39:38 the golden altar, the anointing oil, the sweet incense, the screen for the door of the Tent,
Exo 39:39 the bronze altar, its grating of brass, its poles, all of its vessels, the basin and its base,
Exo 39:40 the hangings of the court, its pillars, its sockets, the screen for the gate of the court, its cords, its pins, all the instruments of the service of the tabernacle, for the Tent of Meeting,
Exo 39:41 the finely worked garments for ministering in the holy place, the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments of his sons, to minister in the priest’s office.
Exo 39:42 According to all that Yahweh commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did all the work.
Exo 39:43 Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it as Yahweh had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them-
 
Moses’ personal blessing of the people was that of God (Dt. 33); and when he looked with pleasure upon the completed tabernacle and blessed Israel, he was imitating God’s inspection and blessing of the completed natural creation (Ex. 39:43). Yet Israel tragically failed to appreciate the degree to which God was manifest in the words of Moses, as they did with Christ. This is shown by them asking for Moses to speak with them, not God; they failed to realise that actually his voice was God’s voice. They failed to see that commandments given ‘second hand’ really are the voice of God (Ex. 20:19). Perhaps our appreciation of inspiration is similar; we know the theory, but do we really see the wonder of the fact that what we read is the awesome voice of God Himself?

When Moses looked with pleasure upon the completed tabernacle and blessed Israel, he was imitating God’s inspection and blessing of the completed natural creation (Gen. 1:31); as if now a new creation had been begun in the lives of Israel, just as it is in us through baptism into Christ (cp. the Red Sea crossing)- 2 Cor. 5:17.